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You aren't what you eat...but what you absorb

We know that eating a diet primarily of junk food isn’t a good choice for long term health. But, did you know that you can eat the best diet and still suffer?

This statement, “you are not what you eat but what you digest and absorb” applies to each and every one of us.

What might be some of the reasons we’re not absorbing our nutrients even with the best whole food diet choices? It all starts with stomach acid and digestive enzymes. If we’re not properly breaking the food down into its smallest parts, we’re not absorbing the nutrients. Antibiotic use, stress, increased age, illness and bacterial overload are all contributing factors.

Your body creates 22 different enzymes for digesting protein, carbohydrate and fat. While the body is generally set up for digestive success, there are a variety of reasons why one might be suffering.  From acid reflux to IBS, a disruption in the secretion of acid and enzymes is the result. Often, we are prescribed acid inhibitors when in reality, more stomach acid is actually needed and, the pancreas might be suffering with insufficiency preventing those valuable enzymes from being excreted.

Short term relief with antacids can be helpful but for long term health, working through foods and supplements to increase your digestive fire is important.

“All disease begins in the gut” – Hippocrates, the father of medicine

How do you stoke your digestive fire? First, it is important that you utilize your body clock to the best of its ability. Your digestion is the strongest first thing in the morning. If you wake feeling nauseous and the thought of food is repulsive, you need to work on mobility.

Lack of digestive fire in the morning is generally a case of excess serotonin in the gut creating for some, gastroparesis. Working on vagal tone, the nerve that “moves” everything through digestion and eating enough valuable fibers such as the raw carrot and well-cooked mushrooms can have a profound effect on your digestion.

If you’re feeling bloated after you eat, supplementing with digestive enzymes might be a good idea for you and something as simple as beginning with “bitter” tasting foods can be quite effective. 

A few leaves of arugula, orange or lemon juice and apple cider vinegar can help prepare the stomach for better digestion.

Choosing one of the above to add at the beginning of your meal is a good idea. Be sure to dilute any acid containing foods such as citrus or vinegar. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, any vinegar will do.

Traditional cultures used bitter herbs and this formula is a good option if you don't mind an alcohol base. Should you need something different, this formula is glycerine based.

Building adequate stomach acid is necessary and this is generally dependent on sodium and zinc primarily. The recent bout of C-19 has shown to deplete zinc levels and consequently, many are suffering from digestive distress.

Building healthy digestion takes time and patience. Often, elimination of difficult to digest foods is necessary but once you’ve built your digestive fire, these foods can be added back in.

Keep a food & symptom journal and take note of the foods that affect you within 2 hours of consumption. For some, it can take up to 48 hours but if you have a stomach ache, diarrhea, bloat and indigestion, you know that you can take a look at the previous plate of food and find the culprit.

Some of the most difficult foods to digest include undercooked starches, legumes, gluten, raw vegetables, greens and dairy. We were designed to eat a large variety so don't get stuck in the trap of limited food choices because you can create deficiencies.

If you're having issues with your dietary choices, feel free to email me here for a free 15 minute discovery call.


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